Gov. Dannel P. Malloy came to Union Station Sunday to try to turn a potential election-year liability into an asset, as he announced a $10 million power supply upgrade for the beleaguered New Haven Line.
The upgrade begins Monday. Malloy announced it a press conference by the tracks Sunday afternoon.
A series of embarrassing, disruptive problems along the line have stranded travelers for hours in recent months. Malloy’s Department of Transportation manages the line along with Metro-North.
The recent problems have created a “negative perception of the railroad” along “the busiest single rail line in America,” responsible for taking 60,000 drivers off congested highways each day, said Malloy, who faces a tough reelection campaign this year.
“We’ve invested and will continue to invest billions” in improving commuter rail, Malloy said at the press conference.
As part of the $10 million project, Connecticut Light & Power “will install new transformers to replace four aging transformers at Cos Cob, in Greenwich, to ensure reliability and safe operation of the electric supply that powers New Haven Line trains. This will implement redundant power for this portion of the New Haven Line and increase the power supply by almost doubling the capacity of the two west transformers from 16 megawatts to 30 megawatts and matching the capacity of the two east transformers that have already been replaced,” according to a press release. The work will be done in stages, one transformer at a time.
Click here to read about the most recent glitch on the line; and here to read what some Independent readers think about how bus service has fared under Malloy.
posted by: robn on February 2, 2014 5:28pm
So the attaboy is for?.?.?.?.trains having adequate electricity so maybe they don’t break down?
posted by: DingDong on February 2, 2014 7:32pm
1. There have been new unconfigured electronic signs lying around in Union Station for, what, a year now? How long does it take ConnDot to do something as basic as install a bunch of signs?
2. How about the commuter rail to Hartford? Is that ever going to open? What’s taking so long?
3. Why should we be happy just that the governor is spending money so that maybe, just maybe, our existing train line won’t break down? How about trying to improve train service—like extending the Waterbury line to Hartford or Bristol? Or building a train connection from New London to the casinos? As robn said, why are we supposed to be happy just that things aren’t detiorating? Use the surplus to improve things, not a tax refund.
posted by: robn on February 3, 2014 8:52am
The MTA’s budget is $66 billion dollars. So the $10M upgrade is less than 2 one hundredths of their annual budget. So why did it take this long for a $66B organization to realize that this (relatively cheap) weak link existed? Maybe its because they pay guys who punch holes in paper over 100K/year. 7,000 of their 70,000 employees to be exact.
posted by: DingDong on February 3, 2014 1:15pm
Robn, I think the blame is on Connecticut, not the MTA here. ConnDot owns Metro North tracks (and generators etc.) within Connecticut. It hires the MTA to run the trains and maintain the infrastructure, but it’s up to ConnDot to pay for these upgrades.